Gadgets

Sony unveils Haswell-based Vaio laptops that can be converted into tablets

Sony is unveiling a new line of Vaio Pro and Vaio Duo laptops with new Intel Haswell-based microprocessors.

sony vaio 2 in 1

Above: Sony Duo 13

Image Credit: Sony

The Vaio Pro is a touch-enabled Ultrabook laptop that runs Windows 8. It is aimed at mobile professionals and students on the go. The devices aren’t the cheapest on the market, but they include non-standard features such as near-field communications, which allows the device to instantly communicate with other NFC devices and transfer data. You can now exchange contacts or enable Bluetooth connections with just a tap on the NFC radio.

The laptop is light and durable and comes in both 11-inch and 13-inch models. It weighs just 1.92 pounds and 2.34 pounds, depending on screen size. It is also the first laptop to include a high-speed PCIe SSD drive with twice the performance of traditional laptop SSD drives.

The machine has a nine-hour battery life and can be extended to double that with a sheet battery. The laptops also have good graphics capability, thanks to the advances Intel built into the Haswell generation of laptop components.

The company is unveiling the products at the Computex computer trade show in Taiwan, where Intel is unveiling more information about its Haswell platform and product roadmap.

The moves are part of the company’s continuing effort to stay competitive in the PC market through a combination of advanced technology, good design, and reasonable (but not the cheapest) prices.

The Sony Vaio Duo, meanwhile, is the next evolution of a slider hybrid PC, which can be used as a tablet or as a laptop. It comes with an electronic pen for more precise interaction with the touchscreen. The Vaio Duo 13 is made with carbon fiber and weighs just 2.87 pounds. It has a smaller border, or bezel, and that means it is just about the same size as the original Vaio Duo 11, even though the screen is bigger at 13 inches.

With a new Surf Slider design, the machine has a slimmer hinge for allowing a quick and easy transition between tablet and laptop modes. You can switch between modes using one hand. The laptop side has a full-sized keyboard and trackpad. It has an eight-megapixel rear-facing camera with the Exmor RS image sensor from Sony. The image quality is good enough to take pictures of documents, and it can recognize and tag text in photos.

Sony Vaio Pro 13

Above: Sony Vaio Pro 13

Image Credit: Sony

The Vaio Duo 13 has a standby sleep mode. With optional AT&T 4G LTE, the device can connect to the Internet in sleep mode and update your applications and emails. When you wake the machine up, your emails are up to date. And the Vaio Duo 13 has a whopping battery life of 18 hours.

Both the Pro and Duo lines feature a wonderfully named “full HD Triluminous display” with a resolution of 1,920 x 1,080. The new screens make “colors purer and more distinct.” The technology goes with Sony’s X-Reality for mobile technology, which analyzes images and reproduces pixels that are missing. The devices also have Sony’s ClearAudio+ technology that lets you hear dynamic bass sounds with more clarity and less distortion. Both models also have backlit and full-pitch keyboards, and Sony’s Rapid Wake technology for resuming in less than one second.

Sony previously launched its Vaio Fit 14-inch and 15-inch laptops and its entry-level Fit E laptops.

“By combining the power of Sony’s display, digital imaging, and sound technology with new and innovative form factors, VAIO is offering a variety of new ways for consumers to interact with PCs,” said Pedro LaFarga, senior vice president of the Sony Vaio & Networked Products Division. “We’re continuing to deliver on the needs of a growing number of mobile professionals by making devices that enhance and enrich individuals’ lifestyles in both work efficiency and play.”

So far, Sony doesn’t have a double high-resolution screen to match rivals from Apple (the retina screen) and Toshiba. The laptops come with software such as the touch-oriented painting program, ArtRage Studio and Vaio Movie Creator software.

The Vaio Pro models are available on June 9 in carbon black and carbon silver colors for $1,149 and $1,249. The Vaio Duo 13 model is available June 9 in carbon black and carbon white for $1,399.

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